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19 Okt 2022

FIAN International

Corporations must be held accountable for human rights and environmental crimes

Attempts by some states to water down human rights standards must not be allowed to succeed when the eighth session of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Respect to Human Rights  meets.

FIAN International stands in solidarity with hundreds of social movements and civil-society organizations and social movements around the world urgently calling for a treaty with the teeth to protect peasants, small-scale farmers, indigenous peoples, women, fishers, agricultural workers and communities who are at the receiving end of corporate abuse and harm ...

No binding global legal framework exists to regulate the activities and value chains of transnational mining companies, agribusiness and other businesses with atrocious human rights records. This lack of a level playing field allows unscrupulous companies to escape justice by jumping from one jurisdiction to another. Companies often exploit situations where there are weaker legal protections and argue that they are not breaking any law when they force people off their land, destroy their environment and livelihoods and even cause loss of life ...

Several attempts are being made to curb political agreements towards realizing a solid treaty. Informal proposals shared ahead of next week’s talks have watered down several key human rights standards and norms making redundant the negotiating progress achieved in recent years. These propose completely new narratives and neglect several major contributions from many states ...

A recently published study assessing complementarity between the UN treaty and a proposed EU directive on corporate sustainability due diligence shows that even if national and regional due diligence legislations are important, they are not enough. While due diligence legislation departs from a company point of view the TNC treaty prioritizes people and the planet and focuses on prevention, liability, access to remedy and cooperation, including in conflict affected areas, thereby closing gaps in protection and regulation.

Corporate interests, or states intent on defending them at the expense of people, must not be allowed to hijack the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Respect to Human Rights as has happened in the past with similar initiatives.